Divers investigate Aruba skeleton

A Pennsylvania couple’s underwater
photograph of what may be Natalee Holloway’s remains has prompted authorities to send a
dive team into the waters off Aruba to investigate. But the
underwater image has prompted scepticism from one forensic pathologist, who
says it’s probably not a skeleton.

“I
do not believe that these photos represent a body. I think it’s a rock
formation that certainly does present upon initial perception a suggestion of
human skeletal remains, but I do not believe that it is,” Dr. Cyril Wecht
said.

After
looking at the photograph that first appeared in the Intelligencer
Journal/Lancaster New Era newspaper, Wecht, one of the country’s leading forensic pathologists, said the
image doesn’t match what a skeleton should look like.

“If
you look at what would have to be the head you see that it does not really fit.
It it’s a front view, and then what would be orbital sockets are far too low.
If it’s a rear view, then that does not fit because there’s a lower portion
that would not fit in with the neck,” Wecht said.

Wecht
said it’s not likely that the skeleton of the missing teen could remain intact
for that long.

“The
whole idea of a skeletal remains being in the water for a period of a couple of
months shy of five years is just untenable,” Wecht said.

Ann
Angela a spokeswoman for the public prosecutor’s office in Arubasaid any
evidence found during any dive to investigate the photo likely would be sent to
the Dutch Forensic Institute in the Hague.

She
added that it was not uncommon for human remains to be found off the coast and
cautioned that even if a body was discovered, it might
not be Holloway’s.

Holloway
went missing in May 2005 during a high school graduation trip to Aruba. Her
disappearance became an international cause celebre.

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